'We'll be in touch with the NPA', says Ace Magashule, denying knowledge of his 'imminent arrest'
Hawks say report of arrest warrant being issued is 'fake news' as lawyer says ANC secretary-general has 'not been contacted' by law enforcement officials
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule says he has instructed his lawyers to contact the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to verify rumours of his pending arrest.
After a media report that a warrant had been issued for his arrest, Magashule told SowetanLIVE sister publication TimesLIVE on Tuesday night that neither he nor his lawyers had been formally informed of plans to arrest him. The Hawks described the claims as “fake news”.
However, Magashule said he had heard a rumour there was an intention to arrest him.
“For now, my lawyers will be in touch with the NPA so that we verify this. For now, I'm saying there is no need for any panic. No need for any Hollywood [style of arrest] because I'm a law-abiding citizen. I have not done anything that is wrong, according to me, and unlawful,” he said.
Asked what the case against him was, he said: “Apparently it is that Estina [dairy farm] thing that I was never involved in.”
He said no law enforcement agencies had ever interviewed him about any involvement in the matter.
Asked via text message for comment on the reports of the warrant being issued, Hawks spokesperson Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi simply replied: “It's fake news.”
Speaking, also via text, to another TimesLIVE reporter, Mulaudzi repeated this stance: “It’s fake news. Maybe there’s another Hawks we not aware of.”
In a subsequent statement, the Hawks said it categorically distanced itself from the report "regarding the so-called impending arrest of Mr Ace Magashule."
"The DPCI [police Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation] view the report as a malicious intent to undermine the integrity of the organisation," the statement read.
Magashule's lawyer, Victor Nkhwashu, told TimesLIVE on Tuesday night: “We have not been informed about a warrant of arrest issued against our client, save for the news article that is circulating in the media.
“We have not been contacted by law enforcement officials. Tomorrow we intend to make contact with them to check if they plan to arrest our client.”